African SMEs Must Prioritize Cyber Security

Published on 15th September 2015

Senior U.S. and Chinese officials recently concluded four days of meetings on cyber security and other issues, ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Washington later this month. While Cyber security has been a divisive issue between Washington and Beijing, Businesses, especially SMEs in Africa should not think that this is a distant happening.

Most SMEs in Africa don’t consider their business to be vulnerable. This is a wrong mentality. Over the years, as broadband has become readily available in Africa, general threats (like ransomware, financial fraud, etc.) have increased. Threats focused on businesses (from vulnerabilities in corporate software and cyber espionage aiming intellectual property, to targeted attacks) are also on the increase.

SMEs can fall victim to a wide number of threats, including phishing, malware on removable devices, online banking threats, data loss (via mobile devices) and the threat of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. It is thus essential that SMEs put the right IT policy, as well as security solutions for their server, PCs and mobile phones in place, from the start. While security can be expensive to implement, it is important to realize that having the right IT security processes in place will help a company in the long-term and save it from many unnecessary costs.

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